This blog post is all about bread, rather than Razz’s usual sweet recipes of cakes and cookies – after all, what could be better than a burst of carbs to beat the impeding deadline stress? Nothing beats the smell (and taste) of homemade bread, so here I’ve chosen two of my favourite flavour combinations; one of them is a savoury white bread, and was inspired by my love for pizza, featuring sun-dried tomato, cheddar cheese and basil. The other is a sweeter loaf, and was suggested by a friend: wholemeal bread topped with honey and sunflower seeds.
500g strong white bread flour/wholemeal bread flour (sifted)a
15g fast action dried yeast (it makes life so much easier, especially if you haven’t got hours to waste
1 ½ tsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
300ml luke warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
extra flour for dusting
Ingredients for savoury rolls:
100g sundried tomato cut into small pieces
100g cheese (save about 1/3 for sprinkling over the top before baking)
1 ½ tsp of dried basil
Ingredients for sweet rolls:
Honey – it’s up to you how much you want to use really, I used a generous amount to make the rolls shiny and sweet – but be careful of making them soggy. A squeezy bottle of honey makes this a lot easier.
100g sunflower seeds
- Combine the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
- Create a well in the centre for the wet ingredients to be added
- Add the wet ingredients gradually, until the mixture forms a sticky dough
- Place onto a clean surface and set a timer for 10 minutes. Bring the dough together and knead until the time is up. King of bread, Paul Hollywood, advises to minimise the use of extra flour even if the dough is sticky, as it can lead to a very dense bread. By the end of the 10 minutes, the dough should be elastic and smooth
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl (to reduce sticking) and leave to prove for an hour in a warm place. Place a damp tea towel over the top to help the bread retain its moisture.
- After an hour, tip the dough out onto your work surface again and knock back the dough for another 10 minutes. For the savoury rolls, this is when you should add the basil, tomatoes, and 2/3 of the cheese . For the sweet rolls, add half of the sunflower seeds.
- Divide into around 8-10 even-sized sections of dough and shape as you like. Then place on a baking tray covered with baking paper so the rolls don’t stick.
- Prove again for another hour and preheat the oven to 220°C
- Before baking, sprinkle a bit of cheese over each of the savoury rolls and drizzle honey and sunflower seeds over the sweet rolls.
- Take the sweet rolls out of the oven after about 15 minutes and drizzle more honey over the top. The honey added before will have been absorbed, and this helps to create a shiny glaze for the rolls, not to mention making them that bit sweeter.
- Depending on the size of the rolls they will take around 15-25 minutes to cook. I turned the oven down to 200°C and cooked them for slightly longer as I don’t like burnt bread. You can usually tell if the bread is done by tapping the bottom of the roll with your knuckle, or flicking it slightly – if cooked it should sound hollow.
- Place on a cooling rack. These are best eaten warm but will keep for a few days in an airtight container. If they seem a bit stale after a few days, you can always put them in the oven for 10 minutes or so or chop them in half and put them in the toaster.